Australia to Ban Use of TikTok Application on All Government Devices
© AP Photo / Kiichiro SatoA logo of a smartphone app TikTok is seen on a user post on a smartphone screen Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Tokyo.
© AP Photo / Kiichiro Sato
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Australian Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said on Tuesday that Australia will ban Chinese video-sharing app TikTok on government electronic devices, following similar measures undertaken by western countries over security concerns.
"After receiving advice from intelligence and security agencies, today I authorised the Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department to issue a mandatory direction under the Protective Security Policy Framework to prohibit the TikTok app on devices issued by Commonwealth departments and agencies," Dreyfus said in a statement on his website, adding that the measure will go into effect "as soon as practicable."
Dreyfus added that "exemptions will only be granted on a case-by-case basis and with appropriate security mitigations in place."
Following the statement, the Attorney-General's Department issued a Protective Security Policy Framework, saying "the TikTok application poses significant security and privacy risks to non-corporate Commonwealth entities arising from extensive collection of user data and exposure to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law."
The department added that "entities must prevent installation and remove existing instances of the TikTok application on government devices, unless a legitimate business reason exists which necessitates the installation or ongoing presence of the application."
Over the last months, TikTok access from government devices was prohibited in more than half of US states, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council of the European Union due to security concerns about user data being accessed by the Chinese government. Several European countries also announced their intention to ban TikTok from the work devices of civil servants. In addition, the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs has approved a bill that could allow the US government to ban TikTok or any other foreign app if they are believed to be a threat to national security.